Sunday, January 17, 2010

Winter BLAHS!

So there is not much going on around here, hence the lack of posts. It is tough to blog about riding and training when you are not doing much of either! :( The temps have been just too cold to ride. I am sort of wimpy about cold, to tell the truth, but really I cannot justify riding a horse with COPD in below freezing temps. If my "normal" lungs hurt, I cannot imagine what her COPD lungs might feel like. So the last three weeks have been pretty much cleaning stalls, checking blankets, feeding, and running like hell back into the warm house. :P When the day starts a -2 degrees and warms up to 18, why bother doing anything??

But thankfully it finally got about freezing (yay, it was 33 degrees!) on Friday. And then yesterday (Saturday) was GORGEOUS. It was around 45 with the bright sun out, which made it that much warmer. Dreamy and Reva got to go NAKED for the day once the sun started its climb! Yay! I love being able to take off blankets and let them roll in the snow. (Sparky is not blanketed because, seriously, have you seen her fur? She is very warm with that coat and blankets would simply flatten her hair and make her cold. Her own coat is better than anything I could blanket her with.

I got to ride finally on Saturday as well. It was such a nice day to ride. Dreamy did her typical "OMG-we-are-riding-and-I-am-SO-excited" routine. In the winter if she has more than a week off, she becomes VERY bouncy to ride. She is always obedient, but becomes a little firecracker. Like huge power trots and bounding canters. LOL! The footing is actually very good, with not much snow but enough to make a good track, so I was able to do some trotting and a little canter. I kept the canter very short, as in one time around, because not only is she out of shape but she was just winding herself up by cantering. So I let her work for a while between long and low walk, to a medium walk, to a working walk, etc. It was much more productive to do some work on connection at the walk, rather than get her all sweaty and excited under saddle when she is so out of shape.

Today's ride was so much different. All she needs is that one crazy day and then she is back into perfect mare work mode. We had some lovely trot work, although I kept it short and took lots of walk breaks. Her canter was lovely to the left as usual, springy and light, even having been out of work for two months. But of course, her right canter is weaker and being out of shape does not help. So instead of allowing her to rush to the right, I asked her to canter just inside of the track of packed snow. Snow is the BEST TRAINING TOOL EVER. All of a sudden, her canter becomes UP instead of OUT and flat. She slowed way down and actually pushed from behind exactly how she is supposed to. It was wonderful! After about 10 strides of a bouncy balanced canter, I slowly yielded her back to the track. And lo and behold, she maintained the perfect canter for about 5 strides. She may have gone longer, but I decided to not push it. The transition to the trot was lovely as well. It was just a NICE ride. I am pleased that she has maintained so much over her winter break and I am confident that with spring conditioning we will have a fun year!

I have started teaching Dreamy how to neck rein and I must say she is a quick learner. Today was the second try and she was nearly perfect. I took her out in the flat plowed driveway and did a few circles and turns at the end of the ride. All told, it was probably 10 minutes of training over the past two days. Nothing much, just the last few minutes before I dismount. But I want her to understand how to not only direct rein, but also indirect rein. Time to start being even MORE versatile than we already are. And if we are going to team pen this year (LOL) then we better be ready to go. She likes the looser contact and is very happy to move like a QH. Too funny!! ;-P

Sparky and Reva are just chilling. They both were brushed and babied, but no time to ride more than one horse this weekend, sadly. Oh well. I am pretty sure neither one really cares that much. Reva did get a new bit and a new browband. Seems as though baby is growing....her new bit is a 5-3/4" french link loose ring snaffle and her browband is OVERSIZE! LOL! She is still in a regular horse size bridle, but seems her brains are growing! She got a very nice new fancy bridle right after Christmas (Thank you Dad for the tack shop gift card!) and I tried it on her right away of course. It had been a few weeks since she had a bridle on and oops, had to swap out the browband! LOL!

Speaking of browbands, Dreamy just got a beautiful new green browband as well. I ought to take some photos.....I love buying new tack! :D

And totally random, but I am up to 24 blog followers! Very cool! :D

3 comments:

Artlady said...

What a delightful post to wake up to! Thank you for posting your horsey highlights of the weekend. I find them heartwarming!

OnTheBit said...

I wish I had a solid colored horse so I could justify a fun browband! I did splurge on a new bridle for Phoenix and you will be amazed to know how much more submissive and relaxed a horse is when their ears are not being squeezed off their head!

STB Eventer said...

You are welcome A! :) I love when I actually have SOMETHING exciting to post...rather than, "well, I fed and mucked horses today."

OTB, now that is funny! LOL! :P Poor Pheonix's ears! tee hee! But you can still have a fun browband!